Antigua work permits explained: Do you need it and how to get it

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Working in the Caribbean. Sounds like an ideal option for a productive (long-term) holiday. You’ve probably seen pictures of sapphire waters and sunny skies and are asking yourself  “What are the work permits requirements for Antigua and Barbuda?”

Who needs a work visa?

The answer is simple: anyone who plans to work for profit in Antigua and Barbuda requires a work visa, this includes those who are self-employed.

There are several exceptions to that rule. For example UN workers or members of Her Majesty’s regular naval, military or air forces do not require a work permit. The full list of exceptions can be found here (under division F, F3).

If you arrived to Antigua on a tourist visa, but changed your mind in the course of your stay, you can also apply for an extension for working purposes while in Antigua and Barbuda.

Work permit-regulations antigua barbuda

What are the work permit requirements for Antigua?

The Work permits are granted by the Employment Service of the Labour Department of Antigua and Barbuda.

  • To get a work permit you can only apply for jobs advertised locally.
  • Before giving you a job the employer will need to have interviewed local candidates.
  • The employer needs to present valid reasons of why a foreign candidate was better suited for the role than the local one.
  • If you’re accepted, your employer will apply for a work permit for you.
  • You will still need to provide documents from your end, including:
  1. Passport scan,
  2. bank statements,
  3. and a proof of residence.
  • If the application is successful your permit will be valid for up to one year.
  • You’ll then need to register at the Social Security Office to get your Social Security card 
  • with a number serving similar purposes as, for example, the US Social Security number or the UK’s NIN.
  • You’ll also need to visit the Immigration Department to have the work permit endorsed.

As a foreign holder of Antigua work permit your legal status is that of a bone fide visitor with a conditional permission to work. This means you are not classified as an Antigua resident and cannot bring your dependents to the country.

Consequences of not having the required work permit can be severe:

A fine of fifteen hundred dollars or imprisonment for six months. As always, whenever you’re in doubt of any legal requirements, consult your case with our experts as Relocate Antigua.

The government of Antigua and Barbuda encourages employers to recruit people from the islands. While it can be hard to get a local job, the conditions of establishing offshore companies are quite favorable.

So, if the Antigua work permit application sounds too cumbersome, consider trying your strengths as an entrepreneur!

If you plan to relocate to Antigua and need more advice on the process, reach out to our experts at Relocate Antigua who will be happy to guide you.

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